With the testimony of Gaëtan Montoisis, we benefit from the perspective of a Belgian motorist on the Chinese SUV Aiways U5 and on the cargo network for travel in France.
For 33,000 euros, Gaëtan Montoisis received an Aiways U5 with 3,000 km on the clock at the beginning of February. A special introductory offer, for which he received no purchase assistance. It does not exist in Belgium. For comparison, the same offer in France was billed at 39,700 euros by Car East. That’s 6,700 euros more, but with the ability to withdraw the 7,000 euro bonus at the moment: here’s a difference that corresponds to something close to this national premium!
In his early life, the electric SUV of ours was part of the party that Hertz was offered at Corsica last summer. ” I have already driven 20,000 km at the wheel of this car. I come to France every now and then. So, I made 980 km one way and so much on the return trip to get to Casteljaloux [NDLR : Dans le Lot-et-Garonne, 55 km à l’ouest d’Agen environ par la A62], I also went to Disney in Marne-la-Vallée », Launches our chat partner.
« I also drive 400 km to go to the sea in Belgium. The rest of the time, the Aiways U5 is used for my daily travelss ”, he adds.
3rd electric car
If Gaëtan Montoisis looks interesting on his Chinese electric SUV, it’s also because he already had 2 electric cars before: a Tesla Model 3 and a Kia e-Niro.
« There were 2 problem cars. The worst was with the Tesla Model 3 Long Range Propulsion. I had several problems with it: short circuit on the onboard charger, gimbal, poorly assembled front windshield, exploded rivets on the trunk door, etc. The errors have been corrected, but I had to take my Model 3 to a Service Center 5 times in 6 months », He explains.
« For the Kia e-Niro, my biggest annoyance was the unintentional restart of charging after it was stopped by the application. The dealership requested my installation at home, a Tesla charging station. He asked me for 600 euros to repair it with their equipment! », Did not appreciate our interview.
« Ma 3e electric car is the right one for me. It’s not perfect, I know, but at least I can climb into it, ride it, even charge it at the Tesla terminal, without any problem. I did not have to return it for a breakdown or an error that would block me. I will advise them in my case He assures us.
What I like is that it is a new model that is not known, exotic
« I really like this car. I love the design, the interior and exterior presentation. What I also like is that it is a new, unknown, exotic model. By choosing U5 I will follow and support the evolution of the Aiways brand », Word Gaëtan Montoisis.
« With its bright colors, the interior is very bright, although my U5 does not have a glass roof. It may be messy, but the materials show no signs of premature wear. As for the quality of the assembly, we are probably not at the level of the Kia e-Niro, but on the other hand it is much better than a Tesla Model 3 », Appears-t-il.
Behind the wheel is the display in the shape of a triptych. ” The central part is really very good. The information can be returned in the form of 3 different models. I chose the one that looks like a classic meter and lets you follow the phases of consumption and regeneration. The linear view calls up the instrumentation of an old Lincoln », Explains Gaëtan Montoisis.
« With the presentation of the information and the colors, you have the impression that you bought an old GPS for your 35 euros on AliExpress. But it works well », Concerned is. ” Left there is enough information but the characters are too small. The right part is useless », He modereart.
« The newly installed ATM is a disaster. It works well as a stationary. But he loses the signal while driving. I prefer to use Apple CarPlay worldwide », Advises our interlocutor.
Two major common shortcomings
And the big flaws? ” Vehicles cannot be used on the Aiways U5. I’m doing very well. There is a kind of neutral point in the steering wheel that is shown to float so that the car fits between the 2 rows of the queue. It must therefore be kept properly, so that the device for maintenance in the queue is not necessary. Obstacle detection up front does not work better », Describes Gaëtan Montoisis.
« With level 2 and 3 regeneration, the U5 accelerates or decelerates. Therefore, I only use level 1 which allows the car to coast when you take your foot off the accelerator pedal. On the other hand, when the brake pedal is actuated, the deceleration is first affected by regeneration. If you push harder, the jaws kick in, and you hear them », He schematiseart.
Road behavior and consumption
« Apart from the original tires that are not very good in the rain, the behavior of the U5 on the highway is very healthy. The car is comfortable, stable and the sound of the air on the body is very low », Judge Gaëtan Montoisis.
« On the road, the U5 is not as dynamic as the Model 3 that really hangs on the asphalt. It’s normal: it’s an SUV. In the city, the dimensions of the 2 models are consistent. The U5 is even a few inches shorter. His mate is not very annoying, especially since I live in a rural setting He assures us.
« To get to my work, my journey consists of 20 km of highways and 40 km of secondary roads. Under these conditions, the Aiways consume 15-18 kWh / 100 km in summer, and 20-22 kWh / 100 km in winter. On the highway, the average is 23 kWh / 100 km. For our trip of 3,000 km in France we got 19.9 kWh / 100 km », He figureart.
Charging easily made with Ionity
« The Ionity resurrection is truly peace of mind. I do not see any problems on this network. In fact, I do not understand these discussions which I consider to be greedy as regards the rates for a network that should find its profit after heavy investment. If you download all year round for little money, is it not appropriate to pay 0.79 euros per minute 3 or 4 times a year? », Asks Gaëtan Montoisis.
« In France, charging the Aiways costs me much less thanks to the prices per minute and the charging power that keeps the U5 long at 90 kW. In Belgium it is 0.79 euros per kilowatt hour. Above 60 kW of power, the system in France is more interesting He calculates. ” For my 3,000 miles in France recently, I got 441 kWh from charging stations, including Ionity. All for 197 euros. It’s ridiculous “, He believes.
« At home, thanks to my 19 solar panels for a peak power of 5.8 kW, the 100 kilometers in Aiways U5 cost me 2.59 euros He adds.
Charging France vs. Belgium
« The Belgian territory is smaller than France. We have less need for charging along the way. The density of the network does not have to be that great. What I noticed, and what I appreciate about you, is the important presence of terminals of 11 and 22 kW in the villages Gaëtan Montoisis suspects.
« I have occasionally noticed network issues that make certain chargers unusable. Like that of Marmande, 50 kW DC, where I could not identify myself », Conclusions are.
Automobile Propre and I would like to thank Gaëtan Montoisis for his very interesting testimony and the speed with which he responded to our interview.
The idea for this interview was born after the addition of a comment by Gaëtan Montoisis to one of my previous articles. I particularly wanted to know how users who rate the Aiways U5 deal with 2 major bugs that I myself had noticed after 3 days of testing a similarity model from the same source. This is the problem with the workings of regeneration and the very bad behavior of the driving aids.
These 2 anomalies are hardly revealed in the press. And yet they exist. Proof with this testimony.
As our interviewer indicates, the Aiways U5 is not perfect. And yet I understand very well the attachment he can have to her. From my own experience, I would have even been ready to adopt this car, at least for a little while. Despite its shortcomings. Knowing that I, like Gaëtan Montoisis, knew about it. After all, I have fond memories of my Citroën LHMs! And yet there is also a lot to be said about these models!
Why can the Chinese electric SUV be seen as so attractive? Design, inside and out, can express love at first sight. And what a sense of space on board in this SUV that has the same footprint as a Tesla Model 3! Sit in front, then in the back, and you will see it! And this so spacious trunk!
Personally, I want one thing: that Aiways corrects the problems noted here for these cars and shows me the progress made. I could then calmly conclude: “This is a very interesting and convincing offering on the electric SUV market”. In the meantime, I would not dare recommend her to me around me. If I had not done so for a Citroën XM station wagon GPL, a car that nevertheless brought me so much satisfaction.
We are all different. The charm that the U5 can exert on our interviewee and myself will not be enough for many electric motorists, faced with the anomalies that are really present on this model.